Booker Prize: with two winners it’s a double-edged victory – perhaps Bernardine Evaristo needed the recognition more
For the first time since 1992 – and only the third time in the illustrious history of the Booker – the prize has been awarded to two novels: The Testaments by Margaret Atwood, and Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo.
In accepting the shared prize, both women were gracious. Atwood, at 79, felt that she was “too elderly”, and was happy to share; and Evaristo was honoured to share with the feminist literary legend. The £50,000 prize is to be divided and Atwood has announced that her £25,000 will be donated to the charity Indspire, which aims to enrich Canada through Indigenous education.
The value of winning the Booker is not just the honour, of course. For most authors, the value is the cash prize and the huge increase in sales which follows from the win. Last year’s winning title, Milkman by Anna Burns, has sold more than 500,000 copies and has changed Burns’s life immeasurably, as she made clear in a moving speech at last night’s black-tie awards dinner in London’s Guildhall.
Notes for editors
Press release reference number: 19/157
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